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The busy and growing city of Phoenix is an exciting place to be at any time of the year with its collection of unique attractions, but sometimes you just need a change of scenery and to get away for a couple days. Fortunately, there are lots of amazing places to visit in this region of the Southwest that are just a short drive away and perfect for a weekend road trip. Here are some of the best weekend getaways from Phoenix to explore the area and see the nearby sights.
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To truly get away from the busy city life and reconnect with the type of spirituality only nature can provide, take a weekend trip to Monument Valley. This iconic natural landmark will take you about five hours to reach by car, but it’s well worth the journey. Make sure to do the scenic drive through the park and get out of the car to take lots of photos. There’s also a great hiking trail here that’s pet-friendly and really lets you immerse yourself into the Navajo lands. Camping is available at Goulding’s Campground nearby and also at The View Campground. It’s also fun to hire a local Navajo guide to take you through the park and tell you all about the ancient legends of the region.
It’s a common misconception that the desert city of Phoenix is nowhere near the beach, but Lake Havasu City is only a little over three hours away. This is an exciting place to spend time at a sandy beach, go boating, and party with your friends. Make sure to pack your swimsuit because this is the place to come for the weekend for water recreation.
Sedona is the perfect weekend getaway from Phoenix if you’re looking for healing, rejuvenation, and awe-inspiring landscapes. In just about two hours, you can reach Sedona by car and indulge in a spa day, hike among the gorgeous red rocks, and learn about the mysterious vortexes here. Sedona is a hub for artists, so it’s fun to browse the many art galleries here and perhaps buy a locally made piece to take back home with you to put on display. This is also an epic place to take a hot air balloon ride to soak up the views or to get into the rugged backcountry on a guided Jeep tour.
The Arizona town of Bisbee is about three and a half hours from Phoenix and also a great spot to plan a weekend trip. The town is charming and historic, allowing visitors to learn about the region’s mining history and allegedly haunted sites. Come here for a small-town vibe and to check out the region’s haunted attractions near the Mexico border.
If you’re in Phoenix, you’re also fortunate enough to be just a little over three hours from the iconic Grand Canyon National Park. You can visit the North Rim or the South Rim to launch your Grand Canyon adventure filled with hiking, backpacking, and perhaps even a little whitewater rafting. Weekenders from Phoenix can stay at the lodge or bring their own RVs or tents to camp inside of the national park and have easy access to all the top trails and viewpoints.
The bright lights and big attractions of Las Vegas are just about four and a half hours by car from Phoenix, making this a fun weekend getaway too. There are so many incredible resorts to choose from here for your weekend accommodations, depending on whether you’re looking for daytime pool parties, hot nightclubs, top-notch restaurants, or live entertainment right onsite. Of course, there are also the many casinos here if you want to try your luck and lots of great spas if you’re looking to relax and indulge in a treatment or two.
You’ll only need to drive a couple hours south of Phoenix to reach Tucson, which is also a big city but has a very different vibe that you’ll love for your weekend getaway. This is an awesome place to hike among the iconic saguaro cacti, bike around town, sample craft beers at the many breweries in town, and savor some amazing Southwestern cuisine.
There are few more amazing rock formations in the Southwest than Antelope Canyon, a natural area outside the town of Page, Arizona. Located in the far northern part of the state, you can get here on a weekend from Phoenix in about four and a half hours. You’ll need to book a guided tour to see the canyon and marvel at its swirling sandstone designs. This is a photographer’s ultimate dream destination, especially when rays of sunlight enter the canyon and illuminate every curve and pattern of these epic red rocks.
We also love traveling to the town of Jerome, Arizona on a weekend getaway from Phoenix because this is known as one of the largest ghost towns in the U.S. Here you can indulge your fascination with paranormal activity and also stay at a quaint B&B for a night or two. This is a small town with lots of locally owned shops and art galleries, offering a refreshing vibe if you need a break from Phoenix. Jerome is about two hours by car from Phoenix.
In about two hours, you can also reach the Arizona town of Prescott from Phoenix for your weekend getaway. Prescott is surrounded by ponderosa pine forests and enjoys a cooler climate that’s perfect for experiencing all four seasons in the outdoors. This is a nature lover’s paradise with lots of opportunities for camping, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, and mountain biking. Check out the downtown historic area here too, as well as Watson Lake, the Lynx Lake Recreation Area, and Whiskey Row.
About three hours away, you can drive southwest to Yuma, a popular snowbird destination with some excellent historic attractions and sand dunes for outdoor recreation. Tour the top attraction of the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park and then sample delicious dates at Martha’s Gardens Medjool Date Farm. You can often find fun local festivals taking place in the downtown area and also head over to the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area to drive ATVs up and down the dunes.